Better With Popcorn

Contract Space Secured

Once Blair Betts was returned to Philadelphia for failing the Canadiens physical, it was clear the Flyers had to find a way to clear up a contract space.

They achieved that today, sending minor league forward Stefan Legein and a 6th round pick in 2012 to Los Angeles for future considerations. 

When Betts trade was rescinded, the team's contract limit rose to a total of 51, one more than a team is allowed to carry. However, rookie Sean Couturier's contract didn't count against the limit until he played his 11th game with the Flyers.

With coach Peter Laviolette and general manager Paul Holmgren's heavy praise of Couturier, it seemed unlikely that he would simply be moved back to the QMJHL after 10 games. 

Couturier has seen valuable time on the penalty kill and even strength ice time in critical situations. 

Whether or not Betts will still be around once he gets healthy remains to be seen, but Wednesday's move made it clear that Couturier will stick.

Legein was never called up by the team in his two years with the organization. He was sent down to the ECHL for two games last season.

 

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26 Comments

Bense's picture

YESSSSSSSS! This is good news! I know I'm sort of gay for Couturier... but YESSSSSSSSS!

Bense's picture

Also... is it confirmed that he will stay #14? I would hate to buy a jersey to be "that guy" with the number he wore for 10 games... Giroux had #58 or something if I recall correctly?

Kyle Martin's picture

I would not waste your money on a jersey... god knows what team he'll be playing for in two years.

Bense's picture

@Kyle... I understand what you mean here, but there is no reason to believe he would be anywhere but here at least to fill his ELC... With Carter/Richards gone, its a safe bet he will be here longer... Briere/Hartnell/Timonen/Pronger contracts aren't going to be around much longer.

Mark Trible's picture

Giroux was 56 on a call up. Most low numbers are given with the idea that the player will keep it. Plus I believe Couturier picked 14 of the numbers available.

Kyle Martin's picture

Did we really have to send a pick along with a player in order to get... nothing?

George Prax's picture

It's called dealing from a position of weakness. The Flyers had to get under the player cap, so teams take advantage of them. If Stefan Legein is #51 on the depth chart in Philly, he likely won't be too high up in LA either. The Kings don't have a reason to make that trade unless they get something of potential value in return.

Kyle Martin's picture

Oh I totally understand that. It's one more way that Holmgren has mismanaged the Flyers over the past few seasons.

John Saquella's picture

Flyers are third in the NHL in playoff wins over past 4 years. If that's mismanagement, then how do 26 other GM's keep job?

Adam Pardes's picture

You got it, Saq. Plus, what else was he supposed to do? Keeping Couturier around >>> a 6th round pick.

Matthew Brigidi's picture

The contract limit confuses the hell out of me. Isn't there a way to get rid of Betts so that his contract doesn't count against the cap? Are they able to release Betts or would that bring down some kind of penalty against the cap?

George Prax's picture

The only options are trade, buyout, or to lose him on waivers. Obviously trade isn't an option, I doubt anyone would risk the waiver pick-up because of what happened up here as Matt said, and you can't buy players out mid-season. I think even if you put him on LTIR he still remains one of the 5 players. so no, you're pretty much stuck with him lol

Matthew Brigidi's picture

Honestly, I don't really see what the big deal is with being right up against the limit. They moved a player they were probably never going to use and made space for a first round draft pick that is panning out the way they wanted him to.

George Prax's picture

The problem is that if Holmgren wants to improve the team down the line, he's going to be dealing from a position of weakness, as I said earlier. 29 other GMs know that he's at the player cap, and they're going to take advantage of that. The same thing holds true for teams that brush up against the actual dollar cap as well. They usually have a tougher time making good deals because other teams know that they can fleece them.

So for example, if the Flyers decide in January or February that they want another defenseman, and they're still up against the player limit, it'll be much harder to acquire a roster player. Think about it this way. Organizations like Columbus or Phoenix or whatever aren't in the market of taking on salaries at the deadline. If the only option for a trade with Philly is going to be taking a player -- even a minor leaguer -- in return, they're less likely to make that trade unless you sweeten the deal with picks.

Matthew Brigidi's picture

I understand that, it just seems from my perspective that the Flyers feel they have all their tools within the organization at this point. I understand if individuals have an issue with that, I personally don't.

George Prax's picture

Even if you're right, anything can happen between now and the trading deadline. There could be injuries, players could have slumps, etc. Even the best teams need to tweak, and those teams need to leave themselves room to make just adjustments. In my opinion part of having all the tools to win the cup in your organization is cap space and maneuverability.

Matt Cefalu's picture

I'm pretty sure only way Flyers get Betts off reserve list is to trade him, or put him on waivers again and hope someone picks him up. But after the drama in MTL, I highly doubt any team will pick him up. Flyers might be able to buy him out, but it seems silly considering the need for cap space and the fact that they just freed up a contract spot. So Betts stays for now. Either way, he'll probably go through waivers again to stay off of the main roster.

John Saquella's picture

The initial reports indicate that retirement may be an option. If that's the case, he'd be off the cap and contract list

Adam Pardes's picture

Flyers also can't waive him until he's healthy. If not for that, they would've already done it and saved the pick.

George Prax's picture

@Jsaq Didn't think of retirement. But if he retires a week after getting claimed off waivers and being supposedly healthy, then that's some sketchy Lou Lamoriello-level shit right there lol

@Adam but he would still need to be claimed in order to not count against the player limit, no?

Matthew Brigidi's picture

That certainly seems to be the case. Guess he'll be waiting around for free agency

John Russo's picture

It's a shame they just can't hold onto Betts. And I want to know what his deal is. One of the commenters on The Philly Phans FB page said he heard Betts has an injury and could retire. Granted, I don't know if it's true just because 90% of our commenters are idiots. But It is something I'm keeping my eyes out for because it certainly makes sense.

Matt Cefalu's picture

The issue is that it sounds like Betts is going to need surgery and this wouldn't be his first knee surgery by any means. He could opt to get the surgery done, though its something that might not even help him make a comeback health-wise, considering how many surgeries he's undergone at this point in his career.

Matthew Brigidi's picture

Like Prax and Trible had said in a few previous posts, it's very strange that Betts would be fine then once he gets to Montreal he fails a physical.

John Saquella's picture

There's no standard physical. Each NHL team can apply it's own standards. Betts says his knee has been an issue for awhile, and the Habs obviously were not comfortable with the possibility of it getting worse and causing him to miss extended time.

George Prax's picture

Still though, he's good enough for the Flyers to put him on waivers, but not keep him on the team? I don't buy that. I get that there are different standards but that's a pretty big difference from refusing to have a guy in your organization.